Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I made a flipbook.

The best flipbooks work like movies, so I made a movie first and then printed out each frame.
But jeez, that's not all.  There are a lot of things that I did that lead to me making this weird little book/movie of me stuffing a cupcake in my face. And since this is a blog that champions list-making, I'll make a list:

1. I drove with my friend Julia to Purchase, NY to see the Dana Schutz retrospective at the Neuberger Gallery.
This seemingly simple trip upstate needs a list too. Here goes:
  • Two years ago, I put an ad on Craigslist to sell my record player.
  • I began corresponding a man named Adam Katz (a name a cat lover could never forget).
  • I remembered that a couple years before, a mutual friend in LA had tried to make us become friends when he and his girlfriend Julia were moving to NYC at the same time as me. We never made it happen. I thought this was a good example of the internet being a small world after all and Adam agreed.
  •  Adam made vague plans to come and check out the record player. I lied and told him that there was a lot of interest in the record player and he should probably hurry up about it. They did.
  • I became good and fast friends with Adam and Julia.
  • I said yes to practically everything Julia ever asked me to do because she is the greatest. This list would include things like agreeing to go to a stranger's wedding in Montreal by myself while she worked taking pictures at it, sardines in pasta, drugs this one time, getting up before dawn to go to the TODAY show and making an old lady from Wisconsin hold a nonsensical sign up with me, etc.                                            
  • I audited a class at Columbia called "Why Have There Been No Great Woman Artists?"
    • Even though I was a mere auditor, I said I'd do an oral presentation on a female artist currently showing in or around NYC. I did a little research and I decided to do Dana Schutz because her painting is so funny (and an excuse to go upstate is always welcome) and I think that maybe a potential answer to the annoying question masquerading as the title of the course is because there aren't that many painters in general who are funny so certainly not many female painters who are funny...which is kind of the same thing as great if you ask me. I mean, look at this one:
    It's called "Swimming, Smoking, Crying" and is just so funny and sad, and also provides a good method for quitting one vice...adding two more! 

    Another one I particularly like is "Girl with Guitar":
    When you look at this one, you might think, "Wow. How did she get the black hole over the heart of the girl playing the guitar to be so so gaping and void of anything? Does Dana Shutz know the girls that play guitar that I know?!" Well here's the secret that viewing this piece on the internet won't provide: That hole? It's actually a hole cut into the canvas with black velvet a view inches behind it! Hello nothingness! Genius! Or, I guess, as "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" taught me: there are no geniuses, just talented, driven people people who have been given opportunities...but anyway.

    2. Ok! AT the gallery, we saw a weird little exhibit featuring all of these birthday cards that artists had given to the gallery's namesake, Roy Neuberger. Julia and I just thought that this was great and a good way to get people to send you things and make things in your honor. So last year, Julia put a call out to her friends and artists to make her a birthday card. And a lot of people did! 
    See some of them here!

    3. It took me another year! But yes, my flipbook is a birthday card for Julia. See:
    This is sort of what it looks like, except, you know, a book: 

    But I'm not done with the list. Here's the nuts and bolts part: 
    • I made carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
    • I video taped myself devouring cupcake after cupcake, trying to do it faster, better.
    • I ate four, which wasn't even fun because I was eating them basically all in one gulp to try and save on paper later.
    • I edited the movie down, exported all 381 frames as an image sequence and printed out all 127 pages.
    • I tried to use one of those guillotines to cut the frames out, but my order started getting confused so I cut them out one by one.
    • I ended up halving the book because it was still so stinking big even after obsessive editing. This made me think of that dumb movie with Gwyneth Paltrow called Sliding Doors and how maybe it's not so dumb...I mean if half of the frames of your life are really only needed to move through it with a certain kind of smoothness, then the other half COULD be used to live out a completely parallel existence. If my flipbook is any indication, no one would really be able to tell. Is this what Peter Howitt was thinking? Is this why he doesn't seem to have a career anymore? Is he making flipbooks somewhere in his secondary life? 
    • I gave the second book to my other Pisces friend (they're really starting to accumulate, which is another thing). 
    • I watched a Youtube video on how to bind books with Elmer's glue.
    • I did that. 
    • I found another use for my roommate's yearbook (first use is calling the numbers in it) and weighed these things down. 
    • I wrapped them nicely.
    In 9th grade my English teacher made us give an oral report on how to do something. Everyone in the class was like, "Ohhhh noooo, but I don't know how to do anything!!" 
    I did mine on how to make toast and it was longer than anyone's. This reminds me of that. 

    I just love a list. 

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